Spiked gummy bears: a dangerous trend

Published: Oct. 12, 2011 at 1:16 AM CDT
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NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - A warning to all parents... Area teens are turning to alcohol soaked candy to get a discreet and dangerous buzz.

They've been a childhood favorite for years, but when they become an adults-only snack those gummy bears turn into a sticky situation.

With one quick search, we found nearly 80 YouTube videos, tutorials on the booze-soaked mischief.

Triste Shaw with the Amarillo Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse says, "These kids are doing Google searches to figure this stuff out, parents need to be just as proactive."

You'll find they're soaking the gummy bears in liquor overnight. The candy absorbs all the alcohol so it's completely undetectable.

Psychologist Dr. Mirenda Putney says, "If you're given a cocktail people are like oh I can have one, or I can have 2, but if it's being soaked into a gummy bear, you have no idea how much alcohol content is actually being delivered. They'll start eating a couple and think this is great, they taste good."

Shaw adds, "Next thing you know, they're passed out or they're intoxicated or they're getting behind the wheel of a car."

Dr. Putney says, "There's no real way of gauging how long until the alcohol is going to take effect. They may have eaten enough to feel kinda buzzed, but have really eaten way more, so they could be behind the wheel and continuing to become intoxicated."

Shaw says, "It's just a dangerous situation because one minute somebody could be fine and then the next 15 seconds you're not fine anymore."

It's not just the teens. The littlest members of your family could be at risk too.

Dr. Putney comments, "A younger sibling were to find them they'd have no idea that it's something not good for them. They think it's candy and they eat it, they're not likely going to eat one or two, so you could have a very young child ingesting a great deal of alcohol in a short period of time."

Meaning these spiked sweets, which are expected to show up at teen Halloween parties this month, are definitely more trick than treat.

There are concerns kids are sneaking them into school to snack on there, so teachers need to be on high alert as well.